So I am now testing a Pirelli 210 Snowcontrol Serie 3; 195/55-17.
They are obsolete in the US and difficult to get and a few are available in Canada. They are standard size in Europe (Mini and Smart).
The size is almost the same diameter (as per the theoretical tire size) +0.4%. The width per specification is 7.7" and thus narrower than the 205 series tires used by others. Mounted it is much narrower and has plenty of clearance on both sides (V2), see pictures and the tire has a rounded profile, unlike other winter tire choices.
I did not succeed to mount it with my mount bar and had to use tire irons. The rim is probably not so happy now. It would probably have helped to use the zip tie method. I had a real hard time to get the tire pushed into the valley of the rim!
Disadvantage: Expensive. I hope to get well over 10k out of this tire and this is a test to get ready for an extensive PNW trip. Starting tread depth is only about 8mm (compared to 8.8mm for the Tourance that gave me about 7.5k - 8k life going out west last year). Riding is amazingly very similar to the Tourance Next I had on there before, Tourance Next in the front, however I have not pushed it hard through twisties.
So the test is going to be over soon. The tire has 8300 miles on it now and my total estimate is just shy of 10k with 1.5-2mm thread left then.
Here are my findings.
-When riding slow it feels strange when turning. The faster you go the more normal it feels. The tire sidewalls flex and you are not riding on the edge of the tire.
-You think a car tire can't square off. It can and does. The tire is worn totally flat with 80% of tread remaining at the outsides and 20% in the center.
-The worn tire does not like wet. It slides by simply clutching down a little aggressive. That NEVER happened with a Tourance.
-There seems to be slight rim leak so the tire seems to seal not as well as a MC tire.
-When new ABS and TC were working as usual. Once about half worn TC started to act up and I turned it off. It would engage (in TC1) while going +70 in 6th gear. With increased tire wear ABS would more and more frequently shut off after a while of riding.
-The tire makes the bike track straight very well. You can take the hands of the handlebar, just like a bicycle, and steer it with weight shift. Not that this would be encouraged!! But no big effort to make it turn either.
So in summary, too may cons to continue, especially the poor grip when its wet! It will come off now. Back to the trusted Tourance.
EDIT: Please note and remember that this Pirelli is almost the same circumference than stock. Other tires (205 width) will be more problematic with clearance and circumference and the associated issues with TC and ABS.
Also the shorter than hoped for life is likely caused because it is a snow tire, very soft. Had very good grip on dry surface till the end.